Tonight we can just relax, chill out and rest from the stress of shopping for presents. We can all rest in the presence of Jesus. Christmas is the hinge of human history because God intervened by coming to us in the form of His son Jesus born of the woman Mary. The Good News is that Jesus life, sacrificial death and resurrection brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into a right relationship with God and out of death into eternal spiritual life. God gave a dramatic sign of His love for us, in trusting His son’s life to a poor unwed mother living in an occupied country.
The Hebrew people had a long history of prophetic teaching going back thousands of years.
- Covenant of Moses 10 Commandments, given a thousand years before Jesus, defined their relationship with God
- By the time of Jesus the religious leaders had added rules and regulations that degenerated into idol worship
- Many people loved and worshiped the rules instead of the rule maker (self-salvation by doing good)
- Jesus brought them out of error and into truth with a new Covenant of forgiveness and right relationship based on belief in His sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins
- We will celebrate this relationship as Holy Communion
2. Jesus presence brings us out of sin into right-relationship
Many people in our time do not really know about Jesus and wait until they are in serious trouble before asking for help. Conrad Black’s calls this “come to Jesus time”. But what do we really need to be saved from?
- Short answer is ourselves
- Longer answer is God’s dilemma - God is perfectly pure and holy. His love is described as a holy fire. Anything or anyone who is not holy can not be in God’s presence - they would catch fire and die.
- God desires a personal love relationship with each person. Love is a choice so God has to give us freedom to chose whether or not we respond to His love. We are fallible, live on a demon infested planet surrounded by temptations and opportunities to rebel and fail to love God.
- Each instance of failure to love God and obey His rules pollutes our personal spirit and separated us from God. Our personal spirit keeps our body alive and carries our soul to God when our body dies. If it is polluted by sin-guilt our personal spirit can die and will not be able to carry our soul to be in the presence of God.
- God made a new Covenant with Jesus that if people believed in Jesus sacrificial death on the Cross and ask for forgiveness Jesus could forgive the sin and bring them back into right relationship with God.
3. Jesus brings us from death into life
The Good News is we have a saviour who gives us a new way to both live a longer and more loving, joyful and peaceful life on earth and go on to an eternal life with God after we die. Jesus sacrificial death and resurrection was like a light in the world that broke the “yoke that burdens them” (physical death) and the “rod of their oppressor.” - Satan. (Isaiah 9.4) The Good News is that:
- We can get to know about Jesus by reading the Bible
- We can get to know Jesus personally through prayer
- We can experience a spiritual life of love, joy and peace tonight by asking for forgiveness and inviting Jesus to come and be present in our spirit as the Holy Spirit!
- May God Bless you this Christmas as you rest in His presence!